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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Food for Thought on Dietary Guidelines

August 14, 2004

Thanks for the enlightening and entertaining article about the political fiasco, er, I mean, "process" of establishing U.S. dietary guidelines ("We Eat, Therefore, They Are," Aug. 10).

It's quite sad and apparent that the U.S. populace, thanks to special interest/industry lobbying, will be subject to more whitewashing when it comes to learning how to eat healthfully. Now vegetarian for 10-plus years, I can tell you that I'm in optimal health with an ultra-low "bad" cholesterol count and told I look eight to 10 years younger than my real age. I have boundless energy, and when I drink a few cocktails and get very little sleep the night before, I can still wake up early and work out the next day.

I believe the only real evidence on healthful eating can be gleaned by studying real people and their diets, not from listening to lobbyists. We already know that non-Westernized countries have less cancer and heart disease because they eat less fat, sugar and meat. So, what's the debate about?

Danielle Stallings

Beverly Hills

The wrangling over the food pyramid shows that the food industry is more interested in making money than in providing healthful food. It is partly responsible for the epidemic of obesity.

When people eat food that is less nutritious, they eat more in order to get sufficient essential nutrients.

John A. Anderson

Oxnard

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